- Glenn Murray scored his 5th goal of the PL season
- Brighton moved to 10th in the PL table
- West Ham loses for first time since September 1
Glenn Murray continued his personal assault on the Hammers, scoring the opener 25 minutes as Brighton & Hove Albion topped West Ham 1-0 at Falmer Stadium on Friday. Murray’s goal marked his sixth score on West Ham in his last five Premier League matches against the club.
West Ham had lost all three previous visits to Falmer Stadium in top-flight play, and Friday was more of the same as they were frustrated by the hosts’ solid defensive organization and put under pressure by the counter-attack.
As both teams began to feel the opponent out and build their way into the match, West Ham looked the more dangerous side early on. However, there was little action on goal through the opening 20 minutes, with just one shot on target combined between the two sides. That would change 25 minutes in, as Brighton struck first. A fabulous run down the left by Beram Kayal saw his cross land perfectly at the foot of Murray, who had snuck in between the central defenders and was virtually unmarked.
That was the only real moment through the rest of the first half, and into the second half West Ham began to push for an equalizer. Felipe Anderson delivered a dangerous cross into the area on 55 minutes, but it was deflected out for a corner. Three minutes later, the Hammers came close on another corner as Fabian Balbuena just couldn’t get his head to the in-swinger.
With the visitors unable to make their mark on the scoresheet, Brighton slowly regained the ascendency. With two minutes left in regulation, Brighton appeared to have a second as a shot from Jose Izquierdo was parried by Lukasz Fabianski right into the path of Jurgen Locadia, but the flag went up. Replays showed the decision was extremely tight, and could have been given in Brighton’s favor had VAR been in play.
The ending was chaotic. In the first minute of stoppage time, Marko Arnautovic blasted one over the Brighton bar on a cut-back from Lucas Perez. West Ham pressured the Brighton back line as the game wound down, but the home defensive unit held strong to keep the Hammers from troubling Matthew Ryan.
The victory pushed Brighton up to 12th in the Premier League table with eight points, while West Ham drops to 15th as Brighton leaps them with all three points.